Sunday afternoon, Saquon Barkley went for a routine run up the middle as the Giants began to eat the clock up at the end of their thrilling comeback victory. However, the end result feels like a story Giants fans know all too well: another Barkley injury, this time in the form of an ankle sprain.
Barkley emerged from the bottom of the pile up visibly annoyed as he limped to the sideline. We could see him upset, even at one point throwing his helmet down in anger over the setback, as trainers and team doctors looked over the fallen running back.
Barkley was KEY in the Giants comeback victory over the Arizona Cardinals, showing why the claims of him being the best offensive player in New York remain true. All told, Barkley rushed for 63 yards and one touchdown, while putting up an additional 29 receiving yards and one spectacular, pylon-lunging touchdown before the ankle sprain.
Another Ankle Sprain for Barkley
For the second time in three years, we’ve seen the Pro Bowler injured on a common play. Previously, two years ago, we saw him inadvertently step on the foot of a Cowboys’ defender, causing him to miss four games with a sprained left ankle.
Monday, we received some clarity on the ankle injury from ESPN’s Adam Schefter. An MRI showed that Barkley suffered just an “ordinary” ankle sprain, rather than something more serious. Sources say this is going to sideline him for three weeks. A big emphasis during his time away will be on how well the Giants do in his absence.
Barkley, 26, is playing on a one-year adjusted franchise tag. The deal is worth up to $11 million. However, $900,000 of it is based in incentives. The Giants were looking down at a pretty brutal path with a healthy team. Missing their main scoring option is going to leave the Giants in a pretty interesting position.
What Happens Now?
Matt Breida, Gary Brightwell, and fifth round rookie Eric Gray are currently the only other backs on the roster. With Barkley’s exit, we saw Breida come in to finish the game. Realistically, he won’t be a viable option to replace Barkley’s scoring. Besides him not being that guy, the schedule is rough a head of them.
Brian Daboll and company seem set on running with what they have. Earlier in the day Monday, they made sure to be vocal with supporting Breida. Breida, who spent time with Daboll in Buffalo, should be able to get by on the ground. However the scoring and ability to open the field are going to be missed.
Hopefully the team can survive off the pass game, fronted by tight end Darren Waller. In the coming weeks, it will be interesting to see how the Giants ease Barkley back into the game. In the past, it’s felt like Barkley rushed his own return to help a drowning squad. Basically for nothing, but his own detriment. This is one of those time we will see just how good of a coach Daboll really is.